46 pages • 1 hour readNilo Cruz
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
The act opens with Conchita and Juan Julian on a table at the factory, making love. Juan Julian suggests to Conchita that they meet elsewhere, a hotel or in his room, when they hear Cheché’s voice arguing with Ofelia about the factory. Cheché has brought a cigar-rolling machine into the factory, and Ofelia refuses to accept that “all these other cigar companies have the leads” (49), thanks to their choice to modernize. Marela supports her mother against Cheché and corrects Cheché in front of the workers when he says that the factory has had to lose two employees due to bad sales: “One employee, Cheché. The other one was your wife and she left on her own accord” (50). Chechédisparages the old traditions of cigar rolling, and Palomo enters the discussion on Cheché’s side. Cheché continues his rant against tradition by adding that he “is not interested in giving any more money from my pocket, from my wages to listen to a lector read me romantic novels” (52). Juan Julian defends his role and warns Cheché that “modernity is actually destroying our very own industry.